The postman never rings twice.

Unless he’s mine.
I have my very own postman, and he’s the gold standard.

Here’s the story:

I recently moved to Tel Aviv, certain that leaving small-town Israel for the big city would mean saying goodbye to friendly exchanges at the supermarket, accidentally running into the psychologist who prescribed meds for my kids while in line at the pharmacy, and going home barefoot from pedicures. Relocating from a small pond to a large ocean meant giving up on the personal, the hands-on. That was part of the deal.

I was wrong.

My enlightenment came just last week when I made the bold decision to call back one of those ‘missed calls’ from a number I didn’t recognize, the kind that usually brings bad news, inconvenient announcements, and more likely than not, unwanted requests for money.

“Hello. This is Yossi, your postman.”

Now, although I was waiting for the delivery of registered mail, I didn’t expect to be contacted personally by the postman. Furthermore, one who identified himself as my postman!

Wait! It gets better! He was contacting me because I wasn’t home and, as he made clear in a long-drawn-out explanation, although he could just leave the passport with the local post office, demanding I trek down and wait in line to pick it up, he would be happy to come back and deliver it by hand whenever it was convenient.

Too good to be true. Right?

The only glitch? He wanted to come early. I assured him that that wasn’t a problem, suggesting that he could even join me at 5 to take out the dog. He suggested we swap jobs, that I complete his route in return, and then segued into a discussion of the former tenant and welcomed me to the neighborhood. Having reached an agreement regarding delivery time, we each went on our merry way—me probably far happier than him, now knowing that I had my own personal postman.

The following day we met to exchange hellos, how are you’s, nice to meet you’s and my mail. And I felt just a little less anonymous within the big city.

End of story. So, you’d think!

Lo and behind, just days later, I got out of the pool at 8 am to find a missed call from none other than—you guessed it—my postman! I recognized his number as, in what turns out to have been a very smart move, I’d saved it.

“Good morning, Yossi!”
“How are you?”
“Great, I just got out of the pool. Sorry I missed your call.”

Yossi (now we’re on a first-name basis) had come by to bring me another piece of registered mail. (Yes, I’ve done a lot of official paperwork recently. That’s what happens when you move.) I wasn’t home. He suggested I meet him along his route, just a few streets away, and take my package. He even agreed to wait a few extra minutes so that I could swing through the bakery on my way.

I kid you not.

Fifteen minutes later, exchanging both the package and a round of early morning smiles, I walked off happily to continue my day–my only regret being that I hadn’t brought him a pastry.

No matter. Next time. And I know there will be one.